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Heller makes it official, He’s running for governor

Dean Heller at Carson City GOP HQ
Dean Heller at Carson City GOP HQ(Ed Pearce)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:58 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) -The field of Republican candidates lining up to challenge Governor Sisolak grew by one Monday. Former Senator Dean Heller’s announcement sets up a crowded and potentially contentious primary next year.

Earlier in his career Heller had a reputation as a centrist Republican who could appeal to a broad spectrum of the voting public.

That may be tested, of course, in the general election. For now, the race is against four other Republicans and announcing his candidacy in Carson City this morning he was quick to cast himself as the “only proven conservative in the race” and he staked that claim on a short list of positions geared to appeal to Republican primary voters.

“Number one no lockdowns, no mandates. That’s number one. Number two voter integrity. Two Second Amendment and three support the right to life.”

Drawing a contrast to Governor Sisolak’s record may be easier than putting distance between himself and his primary opponents. There are four of the at the moment: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, Reno attorney Joey Gilbert and Douglas County physician Fred Simon with Congressman Mark Amodei still on the sidelines.

But he carries into that contest, statewide name recognition and a long career as a legislator, Secretary of State and U-S Senator and would seem to be the immediate presumptive front runner, but longtime Nevada political observer Fred Lokken notes a year is an eternity in politics and what wins a primary may not do the same in the general.

“The most successful candidate will be someone who tries to moderate their positions and tries to appeal to non-partisans, many of whom are moderate Republican refugees from the Nevada Republican Party. If they don’t do that then you have a lot of people who don’t see a candidate they can support in the fall election if it’s too far to rhe right.”

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